For the first time ever in the world, researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy have produced a blood vessel from stem cells and then used it in an operation on a 10-year-old girl at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital. Surgeon and Professor Michael Olausson was able to create a new connection with the aid of this blood vessel between the liver and the intestines, necessary to cure the girl. The girl is now in good health, and her prognosis is very good.
The girl developed during her first year of life a blood clot in the blood vessel that leads blood from the intestines to the liver. This introduced the risk that she would experience life-threatening internal bleeding. The condition can be cured if it is possible to direct the blood along the correct path, back into the liver. In optimal cases, the surgery can be performed using blood vessels from other parts of the patient’s body, but a liver transplant may be necessary if the surgery is unsuccessful due to a lack of sufficient blood vessels. A liver transplant will involve subsequent lifelong treatment with immunosuppressive drugs.
Doctors took a blood vessel from a dead body ( you’re all organ donors, right?) and stripped it of RNA and DNA, leaving only the supporting tissue. Then using the patients own stem cells from her bone marrow they infused them into the new donor vessel. A new blood vessel grew in weeks. The young girl is said to be doing very well with her stem cell created blood vessel saving her from a lifetime of using immunosuppressive drugs. Obviously it was not embryonic stem cells that were used, but it was just a couple of years ago that I remember an anti-stem cell research celebrity and his doctor “expert” friend on Good Morning America flatly stating that no stem cell research would ever lead to any medical advances.
The world is drowning in corporate fraud, and the problems are probably greatest in rich countries — those with supposedly “good governance.” Poor-country governments probably accept more bribes and commit more offenses, but it is rich countries that host the global companies that carry out the largest offenses. Money talks, and it is corrupting politics and markets all over the world.
Hardly a day passes without a new story of malfeasance. Every Wall Street firm has paid significant fines during the past decade for phony accounting, insider trading, securities fraud, Ponzi schemes, or outright embezzlement by CEOs.
There is, however, scant accountability.
Sachs notes the umbilical cord that reaches from Washington to Wall Street and the lack of what seems to be near political apathy to do anything – biting that hand that feds and all. Sure our leaders are supposed to lead – we have diapers to change, classes to attend and a boss’s ass to kiss. Yet we have to accept some responsibility. We the people seem to see this corruption as something beyond our control. Sometimes, especially when an issue hits the bank account and grandpa at the same for instance – How Town Hall Protests Against Paul Ryan’s(R-WI) Plan Changed the Medicare Debate – people get up to speed on the issue and ramifications rather quickly. If you’re 45 or older you’ve enjoyed too unpleasant economic down-turns – the S&L castarhope of the Reagan years and the grand slam of supply-side deregulation fever, our current Great Recession. Those people who are not in the mood for the third or fourth sequel in the series or think this is an experience the grand children should be spared might want to start feeling as passionate about corruption as you do about cuts in the parents medical insurance benefits. Let’s define some terms. The way Wall Street is run now is called capitalism by the tea stains and conservative Democrats like economist Larry Summers. For relatively rational people it is called structural corruption – a threat to capitalism. Recognizing this deeply endemic corruption will invite name calling – you’re a “statist”( a favorite of the Mises Institute-Cato crowd) or you’re a socialist ( a favorite epitaph of clueless conservatives). That just means you’re on the right track.
Too Big to Fail will be on HBO starting Monday, May 23. It chronicles the financial meltdown of 2008+